On this date: December 2019

December 2, 2019 by Legion Magazine

1 December 1996
Remains of crew members killed in the crash of RCAF Dakota KN-563 on June 21, 1945, are recovered. The plane had been flying supplies to British troops in Burma (now Myanmar).


2 December 1968
The Canadian submarine HMCS Rainbow is commissioned; purchased from the United States, it was originally known as the USS Argonaut, launched in 1944.

3 December 1969
As the Canadian aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure is decommissioned, the aviation fuel tanks are emptied and cleaned, but one tank does not vent properly; two sailors are overcome by deadly fumes and another two lose their lives during the rescue attempt.

4 December 1943
The 2nd Canadian Brigade joins British, Indian and New Zealand troops in an attack on heavily defended German positions along the Moro River, Italy.

7 December 1941
Japanese forces attack the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

8 December 1952
Squadron Leader Andy Mackenzie is shot down by friendly fire over Korea and begins two years as a prisoner of war.

10 December 1943
In Italy, Brigadier B.M. Hoffmeister orders the Loyal Edmonton Regiment to push on to the Cider Crossroads, a key intersection near Ortona.

11 December 1941
RCAF Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jr. is killed when his Spitfire collides with another aircraft. His sonnet “High Flight” becomes the RCAF’s official poem: “Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth; and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.”

12 December 1916
Approval is given to establish 20 Royal Flying Corps training squadrons in Canada.

13 December 2008
Responding to reports of suspicious activity, three soldiers of the Royal Canadian Regiment are killed by an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan.

16 December 1979
Personnel from 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron save survivors of a supertanker after it breaks in two off Nova Scotia.

17 December 1992
Canada ends 29 years of continuous service in the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus. The mission formally ends in 1993. More than 25,000 Canadians served on the Mediterranean island since 1964, and nearly 30 died.

21 December 1942
Butter rationing begins in Canada.

24 December 1914
An unofficial Christmas truce takes place on the Western Front.

25 December 1941
Hong Kong surrenders to Japanese forces; 290 Canadians are killed, 483 wounded. Survivors spend three and a half years in brutal Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.

29-31 December 1813
In retaliation for the burning of Newark (today’s Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.), British forces burn homes and farms in Buffalo and Black Rock, N.Y.

31 December 1990
HMCS Preserver crew flies to the Persian Gulf to relieve HMCS Protecteur (at right).

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